Anorexic narratives share the thesis that compulsive behaviours like eating disorders are determined by a strong existential component fuelled by women’s paradoxical position in present day capitalist western culture. After a review of social and psychological factors that play a significant role in the development of the disorders, this essay explores the representation of anorexia nervosa in three different first-person narratives. By portraying the psychological intricacies of the illness, these texts provide valuable information regarding its aetiology and cure in the line of recent bio-medical research on eating disorders that stresses the need to treat the disease as a symptom of a deeper emotional distress. In short, patients and characters manage to overcome the illness when they acknowledge a sense of constitutive absence as the root of their disease and learn to live with the ensuing need for identity definition.
Eating Disorders and Constitutive Absence in Contemporary Women’s Writing.
Journal of International Women's Studies, 18(4), 292-305.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol18/iss4/21